Spring cleaning noodles.

The calendar is saying it’s spring, but other than the rare gorgeous day it’s still pretty rainy and cool here in Vancouver.  It’s the time of year when I’m itching to get outside but from experience I know it’s still a bit early to start planting much in the garden.  So instead I’ve resorted to that other ubiquitous spring activity.  Cleaning.

Spring really is on it's way!

Ballerina’s, writers and cookbooks.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  I wanted to be a ballerina.

Well, first I wanted to be a garbage collector.  Seriously.  They wore really cool orange jumpsuits.  For the record, I look horrible in orange.  I moved on.

What I never thought I would do is write.   Continue reading

Baked eggs.

Breakfast.  We’ve all heard it before.  It’s the most important meal of the day.

Break. The. Fast.

Fitness and health advice aside, it only makes sense that if you’ve gone several hours without eating (as most people do while they are sleeping) the next meal you eat should be nutritionally sound and psychologically satisfying.  That said, I am completely not a breakfast person.  Given the choice I would have my cup of green tea upon waking, followed by some coffee, and then food about 5 hours later.  For years that is exactly what I did.  Ah youth.  Then, in my early years of personal training and fitness competing I got a bit smarter.  Getting up at 430 in the morning I would swallow down a protein shake to start the day and then a few hours later be ready to eat real food.  Yuck.

It should come as no surprise then that I’m not really the breakfast person in my house.  I make a killer porridge, a nutritional protein smoothie and great fried egg sandwich but that’s where it ends.  Although, I should note at this point that I’m obviously I’m not including bacon in my ineptitude.  Of course I can cook bacon.  But it’s a separate food group.  “Vitamin P”.  It doesn’t count.  Bacon aside, if you visit, and want a good breakfast, make friends with my husband.  He’s the man for the job.

All that said, it’s the holidays, I have no need to be awake at the crack of dawn and I have  a house guest.  When a friend egg sandwich or shake just won’t cut it, there’s only one other thing in my repertoire.  Baked eggs.  They look far fancier than they are and they are easily adaptable for almost any cheese, vegetable or protein you might have in your refrigerator.  And, if you’re one of those brave enough souls to invite people over for brunch they are a wonderful protein addition to your menu.

Ingredients 

(makes 2 small and 1 medium ramekin, or 4 small)

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 4 eggs whites
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsps extra old cheddar, grated
  • 1/4 cup spinach, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp cream (completely optional, but adds a wonderful richness)

Other great options:  carmelized onions, pancetta, mushrooms, havarti/blue/goats cheese, arugula, oven roasted tomato, thyme, basil, oregano, curry powder…. the list is endless!

Method

  • Lightly oil or butter small to medium size ramekins.  Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a small bowl lightly beat all eggs.  Whisk in dijon mustard.
  • Add a touch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Evenly divide half of the cheese and spinach between the ramekins. (place on bottom).
  • Whisk remaining cheese and spinach (or other vegetables) into eggs.
  • Pour egg mixture into ramekins.
  • Place ramekins in a baking dish with about 1-2cm of water.
  • Place in oven and bake until cooked.  Depending on oven this will be 15-30 minutes.  My gas oven at 350 takes about 20 minutes.

The best part is, these really don’t just have to be for breakfast.